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Best back-to-school laptops for college students in 2022

Picking the right laptop is important for today’s college students.

Different laptop versions for back to school students
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It’s back-to-school time for college students, and in today’s university life, students will almost certainly need a laptop to complete their work. Let’s look at some of the best laptops for college students in 2022.

Choosing a laptop isn’t the easiest decision. Are you looking for a Windows machine, or are you more of an Apple fan? Do you plan on doing any gaming on your laptop?

If you don’t have access to a free government laptop, there are tons of different options out there for new laptop buyers.

So how do you know which one’s best for you? We’ve compiled some of the best laptops for college students on the market in 2022.

Whether you’re looking for a powerful machine to handle your more creative projects or just looking for something to get you by with notes and web-based schoolwork, we’ve got you covered.

Best MacBook for students: Apple MacBook Air (M1)

Macbook air m1 chip
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Kicking off the list we have an absolutely breathtaking machine for fans of Apple’s ecosystem. The MacBook Air M1 version is a great option for students working on multiple projects at once.

While Apple recently launched a new MacBook Air with its M2 processing unit, 2020’s M1 version of the MacBook Air still performs incredibly for today’s standards at a more appealing price.

The M1 MacBook Air starts at just $899, while the entry-level M2 is a bit more expensive, starting at $1,099

The MacBook Air M1 features up to an impressive 18 hours of battery life, which is great for college students constantly on the move. And the M1 8-core processor offers great performance for just about any project a college student could be working on.

Best Windows 11 laptop for students: Dell XPS 13

Dell xps 13 plus
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If you’re more of a Windows fan over macOS, then the best laptop for college students is the Dell XPS 13. It features a 10-core Intel i5 12th generation processor for powerful performance.

And if you want, you can upgrade to an i7 processor to squeeze a little extra juice out of the XPS 13, though it’ll cost you. The i5 XPS starts at $999, and the price jumps to $1,249 if you opt for the i7 option.

This 13.4″ laptop is lightweight and compact, with no bezels taking up any unnecessary space on your screen. And with up to 12 hours of battery life and a full touch-screen display, this is a great option for any college student out there.

Best premium laptop for college students: MacBook Pro M2

Macbook pro m2 front facing
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Looking to go above and beyond with outrageous performance that you’ll have to try hard to max out? Then the MacBook Pro M2 is definitely the laptop that you’re looking for.

The M2 MacBook Pro is Apple’s most powerful MacBook to date and is more than enough machine for college students.

While physically the same as the previous, M1 MacBook Pro, the M2 processing unit brings a decent boost to both performance and battery life. The M2 MacBook Pro has a battery life rated for up to 20 hours which is insane for a laptop.

But you do have to pay for the performance jump with the MacBook Pro M2. The 13″ starts at $1,299, but the price can quickly jump up to well over $2,000 for the larger screen and storage options.

Best budget laptop for college students: Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook

Lenovo chromebook flex 5
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If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly for your back-to-school college needs, you might want to consider a Chromebook.

Since most of the work you’ll be doing for school won’t be too demanding, a good Chromebook, like the Lenovo Flex 5 can handle what you need.

The Flex 5 Chromebook comes with an 11th-generation Intel i3 dual-core processor.

It features a 13.3″ touchscreen 1080p display that can be flipped around and used like a table. It has a 128GB internal SSD and the option to add more storage via MicroSD if needed.

The one problem with the Flex 5 Chromebook is that it can sometimes be hard to find. It’s currently only available on Amazon for $469, but keep an eye on the Lenovo website and other retailers for it to come back in stock.

Best powerful gaming laptop: Razer Blade 15

Razer blade 15
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If you do a lot of gaming alongside studying, then the Razer Blade 15 is one of the most powerful options that you’ll be able to find.

Outfitted with at least an Intel i7 processor, GeForce RTX 3060, and 16GB of DDR4 ram, the Razer Blade 15 offers gaming performance that would rival many of today’s desktop gaming PCs.

The Blade 15 is a 15.6″ gaming laptop with some of the latest gaming PC hardware on the inside.

It offers a minimum of 144Hz on a 1080P monitor, so all your games are buttery smooth. And with that kind of performance, it’ll handle anything that your college courses throw at you.

There are tons of different models of the Razer Blade 15, starting at $1,799 and going all the way up to $4,199. You can upgrade to a 3080 Ti, an i9 processor, and up to 32GB of ultra-fast DDR5 ram.

It’s a little overkill for your school work, but it will definitely help make your games look much better.

Best budget gaming laptop: Asus ROG Strix G15

Asus rog strix g15 gaming laptop
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But you don’t have to break the bank if you’re looking for a nice gaming computer to take with you to college. One option from a well-known brand in PC gaming is the Asus ROG Strix G15.

The G15 is a 15.6″ option from Asus featuring an 8-core Ryzen 7 4800H mobile processor and 16GB of DDR4 ram. It has 512GB of SSD storage and features a 300Hz 1080P display for smooth gaming and crystal clear visuals.

And the Asus ROG Strixk G15 starts at just $1,049.99. It’s currently out of stock on the company’s website, but you can find one for yourself on Amazon or Best Buy.

Best 2-in-1 laptop for students: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Microsoft surface laptop studio
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And finally, to close out the list, we’ve got a laptop for those tablet lovers out there.

Tablets can be a great tool for productivity, but you’ll likely find times in college where you’ll need a full laptop. So why not get the best of both worlds with the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio?

The Surface Laptop Studio is the most powerful Surface Laptop so far with an 11th-generation Intel Core H processor. It features a 14.4″ crystal-clear 2400 x 1600 touchscreen with a 120Hz refresh rate.

This is the best option for creatives looking for a 2-in-1 tablet/laptop combination for their college needs.

The entry-level Surface Laptop Studio comes with an Intel i5 processor and 256GB of storage with 16GB of ram. Like many other options on this list, there are tons of upgrades you can choose from.

You can go up to 32GB of ram and 2TB of SSD storage. And you can even add an RTX 3050Ti for a little extra graphical performance.

These are some of the best laptops available for college students

When it comes to laptops for college, it’s important that you pick the best option for your specific needs. Typical laptops should last for around four years, making it very possible to go through your entire college life using the same laptop.

So decide what’s best for you. Are you a fan of the Windows operating system, or do you like what Apple has to offer better? Will you play any demanding games on your laptop while at college?

Whatever you’re looking for, one of the options on the list will suit you greatly during your time at school. These are some of the best laptop options for college kids in 2022.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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